Chris Bourke – 121lb 5oz
Marc Leach – 121lb 4oz
Frank Arnold – 131lb 9oz
Paul Holt – 131lb 5oz
Karol Ituama – 176lb 3oz
Jiri Kroupa – 173lb 9oz
Jake Henty – 149lb
Henrich Herak – 150lb 2oz
Joshua Frankham – 150lb 2oz
Dario Borosa – 151lb 3oz
Willo Hayden – 138lb 3oz
Michael Walton – 140lb
Aloys ‘Junior’ Youmbi – 199lb 5oz
Tayar Medmed – 201lb
Arnold Obodai – 205lb 1oz
Hassan Oseni – 200lb 3oz
Jamie Chamberlain & Constantin Radoi to weigh-in tomorrow.
|CHRIS BOURKE will challenge Marc Leach for the vacant British Super-Bantamweight championship at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Friday March 11, live on BT Sport.
Streatham’s Bourke (10-0, 6 KOs) gets his big opportunity after Queensberry stablemate Jason Cunningham relinquished his domestic crown in pursuit of world honours.
He said: “Fighting for the British title in the main event on BT Sport is something I am looking forward to.
“I have been calling for the British title for a while now and I am just grateful I have got the opportunity.”
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Bourke, 27, won the WBC International title in December 2020 with a second round stoppage of Michael Ramabeletsa. In his only defence last July, the South Londoner thrashed James Beech on points over ten rounds.
The Martin Bowers trained boxer also won the Southern Area crown in July 2020 with a points win against unbeaten Ramez Mahmood.
If Chris defeats fellow southpaw Leach it could lead to big clashes against the likes of Cunningham, Brad Foster and fellow big puncher Andrew Cain.
Salford’s Leach (17-1, 4 KOs) leapt from obscurity in October 2020 when he upset 2016 Olympian Qais Ashfaq on points in a British Featherweight title eliminator.
He dropped back to Super-Bantamweight last summer for another British championship eliminator and confirmed his mandatory status with a narrow, but unanimous points win over Thomas Essomba.
Leach, 27, last boxed in December when he knocked out Stefan Nicolae after just 26 seconds of the opening round.
Bourke added: “Ashfaq is a good win and I think Marc put him down a few times. Essomba is always tricky, he takes good fighters the distance and they struggle with him.
“Marc has earned his shot and I feel I have earned mine. From the little clips I have seen he does seem awkward and technically a very good fighter.
“People in boxing will know this is a massive fight and I think people will be looking forward to it.”
Promoter Frank Warren added: “The Super-Bantamweight division is stacked and I now believe it is time for Chris to make his move.
“Marc is tricky, slippery and come through eliminators to get a deserved shot. I think Chris wins in the power department and that might be the difference.
“It’s a great way to start Queensberry’s 2022 calendar with a 50-50 British title fight and prospect stacked card at the spiritual home of British boxing.”
Also on the show, Hackney Super-Featherweight Frank ‘The Tank’ Arnold (8-0-1, 2 KOs) will make the leap to ten rounds in a non-title contest.
British boxing’s latest Light-Heavyweight hopeful Karol Itauma (5-0, 3 KOs), an eight-time National amateur champion boxes a six rounder.
In four round action is Conor McGregor’s Super-Lightweight training partner Willo Hayden (2-0), Reading Super-Welterweight Joshua Frankham (4-0,1 KO), Portsmouth Super-Featherweight Jamie Chamberlain (3-0), Welling Super-Welterweight Jake Henty (1-0), and exciting teenage Cruiserweight Aloys Youmbi (0-1).
The quality card also features the debut of another top London Cruiserweight prospect, Arnold Obodai, a former Repton ABC boxer who won two National championships.
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|SHOULD HE BE emphatic, as he intends to be, in repelling the challenge of James Beech jr on July 24, Chris Bourke plans to go against his more reserved nature and call out the British super bantamweight champion, Brad Foster.
Bourke defends his WBC International Silver title against the 12-1 Beech at the SSE Arena, Wembley in support of Joe Joyce taking on the formidable Carlos Takam for the WBO International and WBC Silver titles.
Even though Bourke, 26, acts and fights like a seasoned campaigner, his Wembley date will actually only take him to the early milestone of reaching double figures as a professional.
“I know… I’ve not even been a pro for three years yet,” Bourke acknowledged. “I’m nearly 10-0 and I’ve won the Southern Area, beat the English champion and now I’ve got the WBC belt, which gets me up in the rankings.”
The Streatham Sniper first jumped on the title trail with a points victory over the then also unbeaten Ramez Mahmood during last summer’s lockdown series of shows before going in with the English champ Michael Ramabeletsa with the WBC strap at stake in December.
Ramabeletsa came with a reputation for knocking prospects off their pedestal, but had the tables turned on him when Bourke caught him flush in the second round and didn’t let him off the hook.
Another tough challenge now looms with Beech jr making a challenge for his WBC title. The Midlander’s only loss came in a close-run thing against Foster in the first UK boxing show after last year’s first set of restrictions at the BT Sport studio.
Bourke reckons all the ingredients are there to cook up a crowd-pleasing spectacle.
“As long as I get the win, that’s what matters, but I reckon it will be a good one because he brings it and I don’t think he is ever in a dull fight. He comes forward, throws a lot of shots – and is there to be hit!
“He is 100 per cent a proper fighter and he gave Brad Foster a hard fight, I thought.
“He will try and bring it to me, so it will be down to me to show my skill and class and do what I need to do to get the win,” continued Bourke, who insists winning is all that matters by whatever method.
“I’m gonna get the win and, if I get him hurt, I will get him out of there. He is a good fighter who can do everything well, so I have just got to focus on the win.”
The product of the Peacock Gym knows this is a big opportunity for him to shine on a big stage and believes he needs to post a statement with his performance that demands a return ticket to the marquee cards.
“Exactly, you want to stand out, be the fight of the night and the one people are talking about afterwards. I feel like, for my weight, I hit hard and I just want to keep that going really.
“I want people to want to watch me so I want to be in exciting fights to get people interested.
“I’m not really a big talker, but when I am in the ring, that is where my fighting needs to do the talking for me.”
But despite being more thoughtful than voluble, Bourke understands his voice needs to be heard if an enticing domestic clash between himself and the also multi-titled Foster is to be delivered by public demand.
Foster is soon to challenge Jason Cunningham for the European title to add to the British and Commonwealth belts already in his possession.
“Yeah, it will only make sense, won’t it. Now he is fighting for the European there could be even more at stake for me. I think he will beat Cunningham, although I was surprised he beat (Gamal) Yafai.
“Once I get the win, depending on how I do, I will be a bit more vocal this time. I need to get people talking a bit more now.”
And on the main event, Bourke cannot see past his former GB teammate Joyce having his arm raised in triumph, but reckons it might not be straightforward for him.
“I am looking forward to that because Takam brings it. I think that Joyce has just got too good a chin for someone like Takam, but I think he will be dangerous for three or four rounds before Joyce gets to him. Like he does with everyone else.
“He will walk him down and get him out of there at some point. It is a good fight and a lot of people are looking forward to it.”
Joe Joyce v Carlos Takam for the WBC Silver and WBO International titles takes place at the SSE Arena, Wembley on July 24.
Hamzah Sheeraz (12-0, 8 KOs) makes the third defence of his WBO European title against Spaniard Ezequiel Gurria (15-1, 3 KOs).
Swansea’s Chris Jenkins (22-3-3, 8 KOs) will finally defend his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles against Nottingham’s Ekow Essuman (14-0, 5 KOs) after recovering from injury.
In a well matched fourth title fight, Peacock gym ace Chris Bourke (9-0, 6 KOs) defends his WBC International super-bantamweight title against Bloxwich’s James Beech Jnr (12-1, 2 KOs).
There is also heavyweight action featuring David Adeleye (6-0, 5 KOs), while Mill Hill’s George Fox (3-0) will make his Queensberry debut. Reading super-featherweight hope Charles Frankham (2-0, 1 KO) has also been added to the stacked bill., along with ‘The Gent’ Micky Burke Jr (4-0, 1 KO) who also returns after his first stoppage victory in November last year.
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